Early yesterday morning I spent 45 minutes running my three setters in the local hills. When we got back to the car Maggie (the 11 month old puppie) decided that she was not done yet and took off for one last cast. She's done that before without too much problem, but this time she ran directly into a 50 acre burned area that was populated by 500 dove. I could always tell where she was by the swirl of birds coming up. Her puppy brain was locked onto bird overload and there was nothing I could do but follow her around, hoping that the birds would thin out. Which did not happen. Apparently the feed was great so the birds would fly 200 yards and then set down again. Twenty minutes later she was still going strong.
Finally I noticed that she was frequently flash pointing small bushes where the birds had been feeding. The next time that happened (close to me) I called "whoa". She locked into a goregous point and held it until I got there. I spent 30 seconds stroking & praising her, then clipped the lead and took her back to the car.
Maggie shows great nose, strong point, and good range. I think it is time for a bit of discipline. My e-collar is on the way back from Collar Doctors and I think we'll start a bit of yard work soon. She's very smart and generally pretty good with "here" and "whoa". I bet she's staunch in a few months.
Public lands are no accident
3 days ago